Measles Hits Amish Communities, and U.S. Cases Reach 20-Year High
Members of Amish communities in Ohio traveled to the Philippines for heartfelt reasons: they were there on service projects to help less fortunate people. Unfortunately, they came home with unwelcome hitchhikers: measles viruses.
Those travelers hadn’t been vaccinated against this highly contagious disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. As a result, they have triggered an outbreak of more than 130 cases, primarily among their unvaccinated friends and relatives in Amish communities.
Add that to other cases and there have been 288 cases of measles in the United States so far this year, CDC officials said. And while that number is small compared with the hundreds of thousands of cases that swept the nation in the 1960s before vaccination campaigns succeeded, it’s the largest number since the mid-1990s.
The cases reported to date are in 18 states. The CDC says 41 people have been hospitalized, but nobody has died so far.